Published on March 21st, 2020 |
by Jose Pontes
March 21st, 2020 by Jose Pontes
Following the start of the EU’s new CO2 rules, the German plug-in market has (finally) clicked and February signaled another record performance, its second in a row, having registered 16,508 units in February. That’s 144% growth year over year (YoY). Further, the country’s plug-in share in February reached a record 6.9%, pulling the yearly tally to 6.7%. That was helped by the 9% fall of the overall market.
Despite BEVs continuing to grow at a fast pace (+76% YoY), the lights are focused on PHEVs (+279%!!!), with several new models hitting the market and allowing plug-in hybrids as a whole to continue outselling pure electrics. Though, the difference is negligible (51% vs. 49%).
Looking at the fuel mix, diesel continues to slide (down to 32% in February), while unplugged hybrids are growing, now with 9% share, meaning that 15.7% of the German market is already electrified. Not bad, eh?
February had a surprise leader, with the Volkswagen e-Golf winning its first monthly best seller title since last July, with Volkswagen milking its electric hatchback to the last drop. Generous discounts helped it to hit 1,475 deliveries, its second record performance in a row, so it seems the veteran EV is set to end its career on a high note.
But the German automaker didn’t stopped there, with two other models in the top 5 as well. The small e-Up was 4th, with 679 units, its second record performance in a row, while the Passat GTE ended the month in 5th, with 640 units registered.
So, 3 out of 5 for Volkswagen, with two consecutive records to boot. Not bad, VW, not bad at all.
The remaining two spots went to the Renault Zoe (#2, with 1,352 registrations) and the indestructible Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (#3, with 821 registrations), which continues to impress with regard to its vitality.
Regarding the 2020 table, the two frontrunners are already a sizable distance ahead of the competition, and only the #12 Tesla Model 3 can aspire to get close to them, but for that to happen in March, it will need to score a record result. Although not impossible, it seems that has become more difficult due to the current COVID-19 crisis.
With the VW e-Golf ending its career in a few months, and the expected general slowdown in the coming months, only the Renault Zoe can hope to give some fight to the VW ID.3 in the race for the 2020 title.
Well, while the production ramp up of the ID.3 is indeed happening, as several car park pictures prove, actual ID.3 registrations are still in symbolic numbers, with only 81 deliveries last month.
Not that the Volkswagen Group needs it right now to grow. Besides the rise and rise of the VW e-Golf, the Passat GTE midsizer was up one position to #4, and the small e-Up climbed to #7, while on the Audi side, the e-tron stepped one position to 6th, thanks to a record 591 registrations (its second monthly record in a row), and the A3 PHEV jumped four positions, to #14, thanks to 466 registrations, its best performance since 2017.
Finally, Porsche’s new baby, the Taycan, had 195 deliveries, a new high for the sports sedan. As the ramp up continues to evolve, we might see it soon in the top 20.
But the Volkswagen Group didn’t have the exclusive on good performances in this top 20, with the Mercedes C300e/de also jumping into the top 10, in #9, while the BMW 330e was up to #11 and the Tesla Model 3 rejoined the table, in #12. As implied before, the Californian is set to jump into the top 5 this month.
Outside the top 20, there’s plenty to talk about, like the BMW X3 PHEV (95 units) ramping up production, the new Kia Soul EV registering 229 units, a new high for the Korean MPV-disguised-as-crossover, and Volvo continuing to increase its electrification rate, with its S/60 PHEV twins scoring a record 308 units and the new XC40 compact SUV having 143 deliveries.
Mercedes has finally found a way to ramp up production of its new plug-in models, with the compact A250e registering 112 units, the new midsize SUV GLC300e delivering 121 units, and its all-electric sibling, the EQC, finally crossing into three-digit territory (yay!!!) with 109 units.
In the brand ranking, the Volkswagen Group has a 1 + 2 lead, with Volkswagen (16%, up 1%) leading the way while Audi (11%) is in 2n place, closely followed by #3 Renault (10%, down 1%) and BMW (10%). Meanwhile, #5 Mercedes (9%, up 1%) is getting ready to run for for the medal positions.
Midsize Car Best Sellers
|2||BMW 3 Series||4,364|
With the Tesla Model 3 in an off month, we have four models with a significant degree of electrification, with the leader VW Passat having 12% of its sales coming from the GTE version while the #4 Mercedes C-Class has 17% of sales coming from its PHEV versions. The #2 BMW 3 Series has 12% share.
But the champion of electrification is the #5 Skoda Superb, with 20% share.
Which leaves the Audi A4 as the only unplugged model. Until when? …
Midsize SUV Best Sellers
We have a fully electrified top 5. Although these models have wide variation in degrees of electrification, from the 4% PHEV share of the Mercedes GLC-Class, to the 80% of the Mitsubishi Outlander, passing by the 7% of the BMW X3, 13% of the Volvo XC60, and 22% of the Audi Q5.
This last one’s performance raises the question: When will Mitsubishi make the Outlander an entirely plug-in model?
Anyway, 5 electrified models out of 5 is already something, and with the Mercedes-Benz GLC PHEV and BMW X3 in ramp up mode, things will look even better in a few months.
Full Size Car Best Sellers
With the exception of the #2 Audi A6, all other models have PHEV versions, with the #3 Mercedes E-Class hitting a significant 24% share while the #1 BMW 5 Series reached 10% and the #4 Volvo S/V90 twins had 16%.
Finally, the flagship Mercedes S-Class had just 4% of its sales coming from its PHEV version, something that will surely change in the upcoming generation.
Full Size SUV Best Sellers
The full size SUVs had a slow month regarding electrification, with two unplugged models on top, the leader Mercedes GLE delivering just 4 units of its PHEV version (for some reason, Mercedes Germany is not betting on the 350de version), while the still unplugged VW Touareg was the runner-up last month.
The #5 Volvo XC90 has grown its PHEV share to a significant 40%, while the BMW X5 PHEV represented 17% of the X5 sales. So, adding in the full EV Audi e-tron there were three plug0in models in this top 5.
With the new VW Touareg PHEV coming soon, and hopefully the Mercedes GLE350de finally starting to be delivered in Germany, it will only be a matter of time until this top 5 becomes fully electrified.
Here are the sales charts with “Others” included:
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